Trip Number: 13062A
Staff: Peggy Hepburn
- Hike among the redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument
- Enjoy Point Reyes National Seashore
- Explore Angel Island State Park in San Francisco Bay
- All meals, except two special dinners out in town
- Guided hikes just north of San Francisco
- Several evening programs
Photo: Linda Conklin
Unfortunately, this trip has been cancelled. If you
have questions, please
This trip is for people who love to hike and explore while enjoying skyline
views, redwoods, pristine beaches, and open spaces dotted with wildflowers.
From our lodge base, our day hikes will take us through the rolling hills, across
lush meadows, and on an island -- all within various parks and open spaces of
Marin County, California, just north of San Francisco.
Marin County is an anomaly. Just a half an hour’s drive from the traffic
and congestion of San Francisco lies a land of historic dairy farms, a 2,500-foot
mountain, dozens of trails, a lagoon where harbor seals lounge on sandbars and
egrets and herons feed, and an island rich with California history and spectacular
360-degree views. April will bring lush green hills teeming with wildflowers.
On our daily hikes of five to seven miles over undulating terrain, we will
enjoy Muir Woods National Monument, the Marin Headlands, Point Reyes National
Seashore, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, and Angel Island State Park, as the leaders
show you their favorite trails.
This trip covers a mix of fantastic scenery -- whether rambling through the
redwoods along a rushing stream to reach the beach, or whether visiting the
Marin Headlands of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where we’ll
snap photos of scenic vistas across the bay. We’ll spend one day at Point
Reyes National Seashore, hiking, picnicking, poking around the visitor center,
and perhaps visiting an Indian village. On another day, we'll hike and explore
Angel Island State Park in San Francisco Bay. A 10-minute ferry ride will take
us to this island known as the "Ellis Island of the West" for a historical
journey to a bygone era and a wonderful trek to the top with spectacular panoramic
views of the entire Bay Area.
Photo: Linda Conklin
Each day will be filled with activity. Some evening programs will be offered
at the lodge. Full details will be given in pre-trip correspondence. All hikes
and programs are subject to change depending on a variety of factors, including
trail conditions, permits, weather, and availability of speakers.
Travel to and from the lodge is the responsibility of each participant. Ridesharing
or taking public transportation from SFO airport is encouraged. To facilitate
carpooling, you will receive a participant roster. Vans will be used to transport
you to and from the trailheads. Additional information regarding travel options
will be provided. Do not make any transportation reservations until the leader
Accommodations and Food
We will be based at the rustic and charming, private California Alpine Club
in Mill Valley, California, which is tucked into the redwoods of Mt. Tamalpais
State Park. Perched on a scenic ridge, we'll enjoy privacy as well as a central
location for traveling to our many trails. The lodge boasts a large stone fireplace
in a comfortable living room. Sleeping arrangements are in two buildings. Each
dorm-style bedroom has 4-6 beds. A few private bedrooms are available for couples.
You will need to bring your own towels, pillowcase cover, and sheets or lightweight
sleeping bag. Blankets and pillows will be provided. Bathrooms are shared. Shower
and toilet rooms are separate and have privacy doors. Participants are not permitted
to remain at the lodge during the day unless a leader is on the premises. No
smoking is allowed on the premises.
Our cook has planned healthy, hearty, and vegetarian-friendly meals. We cannot
accommodate vegan, lactose-intolerant, or gluten-free diets. Non-alcoholic beverages
will be provided. We will dine in either a glassed-in porch or outside on a
large deck. Each morning we will prepare our own lunches. As is customary on
Sierra Club outings, participants will take turns assisting with meal preparation
and clean up. We will have two nights out for dinner. Those evenings' meals
will be at your expense ($30-40 each). All other meals will be included, starting
with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast and a sack lunch on the
Photo: Sarah O'Gara
The ability to hike vigorously five to seven miles a day for five days is
essential for your enjoyment and for the group's enjoyment. Elevation gains
and losses of 500-800 feet will be typical on the average hike. Shorter hikes
may be available. For your safety, it is important to be in good hiking condition
and have well broken-in, over-the-ankle hiking boots.
Equipment and Clothing
Weather in April is often lovely, although it can also be warm, foggy, or
even rainy. Average temperatures are in the 60s in the daytime and the 40s at
night. Dressing in layers works best for the San Francisco Bay Area.
Your day pack must be large enough to hold lunch, water, and a warm, waterproof
jacket. A detailed clothing and equipment list will be sent when you are approved
for the trip. Brilliant wildflowers abound in these protected open spaces so
be sure to bring your camera! Also bring your binoculars for observing migrating
Photo: Linda Conklin
- Martin, Don and Kay, Hiking Marin.
- Ashley, Beth, Marin.
- Munz, Philip, Introduction to Shore Wildflowers.
- Olmsted, Gerald, Trails of Mt. Tamalpais and The Marin Headlands.
- Harrison, Tom, Trail map of Pt. Reyes National Seashore.
- Harrison, Tom, Mt. Tamalpais Trail Map.
- Marin Headlands: http://www.nps.gov/goga/marin-headlands.htm
- Pt. Reyes: http://www.nps.gov/pore/
- Muir Woods: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471
- Mt. Tamalpais: http://www.nps.gov/muwo/
- Angel Island State Park: http://www.angelisland.org
Your volunteer leaders have a long-term dedication to the Sierra Club mission
-- "to explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth." We
hope to impart to you some of our love for this area and for the work of the
Sierra Club. We believe that the Sierra Club's outings program provides an excellent
opportunity for members to enjoy the fruits of past conservation victories and
to learn about current concerns. While on this trip, please feel free to share
the local conservation issues from your area.
Photo: Linda Conklin
Because of its natural beauty and proximity to a densely populated urban area,
West Marin is a popular destination for tourists and locals who flock to its
trails, beaches, wetlands, old growth forests, and geologic features. Much has
been lost to development since the gold rush days, but much has been saved --
mostly due to the heroic efforts of individuals and local environmental organizations.
Marin County is a shining example. More than 60 percent of its land is protected
in public ownership and easements through national parks, state parks, watershed,
county open space, and land trusts.
We will learn and practice the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimize
our impact whenever we choose to explore nature. At the lodge we will model
recycling, conservation, and minimal use of disposable products. We ask that
you bring reusable sandwich containers, bags for carrying your lunch, and a
few bandanas or cloth napkins.
Since any traveling leaves a carbon footprint, check out the information the
Sierra Club offers about carbon offsets at:
Sierra Club National Outings is an equal-opportunity provider and will operate
under permits from Point Reyes National Seashore and Mount Tamalpais State Park.
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Since 1993, Peggy Hepburn has participated in, led, and cooked on many Sierra Club trips from California to the Caribbean. She enjoys the camaraderie that the Sierra Club trip participants always seem to share, and always looks forward to another hiking and exploring adventure in the outdoors.
Mark Sapiro is a longtime backpacker. He is also a rock climber and enthusiastic
bicyclist. He has been leading Bay Chapter backcountry ski trips and assisting on
Chapter backpack trips for more than 15 years. He has also assisted on seven Supported Trekking trips.
Mark is a native of the Los Angeles area and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for
more than 50 years. He was dean of computer services at City College of San Francisco
until his retirement in 1992 (at a relatively young age).
Sarah O'Gara first joined the Sierra Club to meet people and discover new places to hike when she relocated from Los Angeles to Sacramento, California after college. She discovered National Outings Service Trips the summer when she worked in the Eastern Sierra to prepare for a Nepali trek in the fall. She has volunteered as a Service Trip leader for the past 10 years because it combines her love of working on conservation projects with like-minded people and Leave No Trace backcountry cooking. Sarah has a certificate in Natural Resources Management with an emphasis in botany and will be sure to include a wildflower identification book in her pack.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips